Happy post-Valentine’s Day and Happy Presidents Day today (if you live in the U.S.)! This post has nothing to do wither either holiday! Enjoy!
When I was a kid, the older kids in my neighborhood, when they weren’t trying to intimidate us younger kids or extort money from us, would teach us stuff. You know—stuff like Double Dutch rhymes; limericks they’d heard from kids older than them; curse words (in different languages); how to ride a skateboard; how to flirt; how to hold a cigarette and look cool (um smoking is bad for you, kids); how to hit a baseball. You know—stuff they thought was useful. After that, they would go back to ignoring us or telling us to stay out of their clubhouse. (Okay, that last one was just something my older brother would say to me.) We wanted to be like them, so we listened to them.
As I grew older, I taught those younger than me the ways of the world. Ha. I totally did not. I ignored or terrorized younger kids (like my younger brother). I was not an Obi-Wan Kenobi, out there in search of a young padawan to train.
Perhaps that’s why I listened in fascination as Kitty took a young kid under her wing. Even a supervillain can be a mentor.
“What’s your name, kid?” Kitty asked, somehow managing to look menacing even with a cupcake in her hands.
The kid flinched. “Isabelle.”
Kitty nodded. “I’ll call you Mel then.”
Isabelle frowned. Or at least that was her intent. But try as she would, she couldn’t change the cheerful expression on her molded plastic face. “Mel? But that’s not my na—”
“Mel it is. And you don’t have to raise your hand to ask a question, Mel.”
“I can’t lower it. I was made this way. Just like you were made to hold that cupcake, right?”
Kitty conceded the point, then cleared her throat and assumed a lecturing attitude. “Mel, to succeed in what I do, getting others to do your bidding must be as comfortable to you as this chair looks.”
“Is that the Shopkins Comfy Chair? I love collecting Shopkins.” Isabelle reached for the Comfy Chair. “I don’t think I have this one.”
Kitty held out her cupcake like a judge holding out a gavel. “Don’t touch that. I’m using it to make a point. . . . As I was saying, as any successful entrepreneur would tell you, bending others to your will is what’s necessary for the good of the world. And what the world needs is the firm hand of a true leader. That’s why I demand yearly tributes from the leaders of all nations. . . . Um, you should be writing this down, Mel.”
Isabelle nodded, but I was skeptical of her ability to write anything well, since she had that one-hand-raised issue. But Kitty did not press the issue. Though I was curious as to what point(s) Kitty planned to make when she pulled these out . . .
. . . I moved on at that point. But I had to admire her technique for imparting her wisdom. It was certainly different from that used by the kids in my old neighborhood.
Judging by the look on Kitty’s face while listening to Isabelle’s squeals of delight as Kitty set the above items on the table, I was certain Kitty had the same thought in her head as did I: Isabelle would never make it as a career criminal.
Sometimes imparting your wisdom is all you’re called to do for a person younger in age or someone less senior in your chosen career. The wise person, however, knows when to give advice and when to hold back.
When have you been the new kid? How did someone older or in a senior position help you?
Valentine hearts from tastefully-done.blogspot.com. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi found at fanpop.com. Presidents Day image from presidentsday-2015.org.